Out of the wilderness



“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.””
‭‭John‬ ‭1:29-34‬ ‭NIV‬‬

He had been to the mountaintop.  He had been filled.  He hadn’t eaten any nourishment, but He had been nourished by the Presence of the Living God, His Father, His Abba.  He had won a great spiritual battle.  He had defeated His eternal enemy by the very word of God.  All He said was “Get out of here Satan,” and  the devil fled from Him.  Angels came and took care of Him.  Jesus walked out of the wilderness completely saturated with the Holy Spirit of God.  The power of God exuded through out His entire body, His hands could heal, His mouth spoke wisdom, His spit restored sight, and His heart was filled with compassion that made Him ache for His created.  His time had come.  He must now enter the real world and show mankind who His Father really is.  He knew the cost.  He had weighed it before He had laid the foundation of the world.  He had made His decision.  His decision was made out of love and obedience to His Father in heaven.  He could not leave fallen man in this wretched state.  He cinched up His sandals.  He had become like them.  He had come to restore them as He had created them; in His image.  He had received His instructions for this day while He was in the wilderness.  He must walk this way again.  It had been forty days of gruel and hunger.  It had been forty days of refreshment and filling.  It was His paradox. He started where He had left off, back at the river where John baptized Him and the Spirit of God had come and filled Him.  He started where He had heard His Father say, “You are my dearly loved Son and You bring me great joy.”  He lived to please His Father.  His heart was full to hear His Father express great delight in Him.   This was His motive.  This was the reason He got up in the mornings.  This was His fuel.

Jesus saw John ahead of Him.  He smiled.  His cousin was still at it.  Knee deep in the Jordan, John was immersing people into the river and calling them to repent.  John was still doing what he had been called to do until he received his next set of instructions.  John’s course was about to change.  He had been obedient to that call, now a new curve in the road was coming.  “Look!” John shouted when he saw Jesus approaching.  “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”  “He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.'”  John knew he must decrease as Jesus must increase.  This was his new set of instructions.  Jesus heard John’s proclamation there by the river and He was proud of His cousin.  His heart was stirred because He saw the humility in this man who wore camel hair and ate locusts.

The real world.  We all have those mountain top experiences with God and we just don’t want to leave this experience, but we have to.  Just as Jesus had to.  He had to go to the lost sheep of Israel and become their sacrificial lamb.  He was sent to become the Savior of the world.  His feet would get dusty.  He would get tired, but He lived to please His Father.  We also have to come down the mountain and we also have been sent to the lost and hurting people of the world.  We also are filled with the Holy Spirit of God as we come into His presence, but those who come in must also go out.

After every vacation it is always hard to adjust to the real world.  I have to adjust to my everyday normal life.  That was Jesus’ starting point after coming out of the wilderness.  He was about to journey into the everyday lives of a hurting world.  He went because He was sent.  This was His first day on His new job.  He was going to please His Father because that was His greatest desire.